Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2013 Royal Princess Christmas Cruise - Day 5 - St. Maarten

This post is a chapter of my 2013 Royal Princess Christmas Cruise Photo Review.

This cruise review was originally published on Cruise Critic beginning January 3, 2014.  You can read the original review here.

December 26, 2013 - St. Maarten

This morning, we awoke in St. Maarten. Rachel had her massage this morning, and she came back really happy saying it was the best massage she's had on a cruise ship and that she really liked her masseuse. After she returned, I went with her to get breakfast at Horizon Court.

12.26.13



12.26.13

12.26.13

We got a bit of a late start leaving the ship, but who cares? We're on vacation time.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

We were docked beside the Allure. What a giant ship! I'd like to sail on her some day... if the prices ever become more reasonable (or justifiable).

12.26.13

The MSC Musica and Thompson Dream would dock in Genoa last spring! Brought back fond memories of watching the cruise ships arrive in the harbor from our villa!

12.26.13

12.26.13

We got into the little shopping center when Dad realized he'd left his wallet. Rachel and Mom were fine to go shopping while he went back to go get it. I tagged along with Dad because when I was walking on the pier, I really wished that I had time to stop and put my 11-16mm lens on my camera because I was envisioning some fun pier shots. The sky was beautiful, and you never know how long that lasts in the Caribbean, so I found Dad forgetting his wallet to be a blessing in disguise.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

Getting a shot without people in the foreground just takes a lot of patience. I waited and waited and waited until the crowds cleared out.

12.26.13

12.26.13

Dad returned, and we went to catch up with Mom and Rachel.

12.26.13

They weren't too difficult to find.

Rachel had already picked out two rings that she was deciding between and just couldn't make up her mind, which was fine since we didn't want to bring the ring to the beach anyway. There was an obvious choice which I pointed out to her, but she just couldn't decide yet.

Once we could finally pry Rachel out of the jewelry store, we shared a cab with a mother and her two children to Orient Beach. Well, they were headed to the Radisson Blu to meet up with family. They're one of those families that is so cute and lovey dovey that it kind of makes you want to vomit. The little boy kept trying to talk to the cab driver and saying, "What a beautiful island! I can't wait to tell all of my friends in second grade." There was a song playing with the chorus "I love you! I love you!" and the boy started singing "I love you!" and his mom and sister would say "I love you!" back. I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie.

The kids' mom asked my Dad if he had ever been to the French side before. "Oh, yeah." "Okay, so you know about what is at Orient, right?" "You mean the nudity? Oh, yeah! It's not that bad. Every once in a while an old topless woman walks by, but they're never the ones that you want to look at, anyway." She didn't talk to my dad anymore after that.

12.26.13

It took a bit of walking to find chairs. Instead of having someone set them out for you, you just sit in them and then they'll come and charge you. They're really cushy, though, and easy to fall asleep in.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

Orient is really developed, and there are all kinds of water rentals, parasailing, water trampolines, and even jetovators (which are insane).

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

When we got back, Rachel FINALLY decided to buy the ring I told her she should buy. While she was doing that, I wandered.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

After returning to the ship, we went to the pool deck for a late afternoon pizza. Princess claims that they have the best pizza at sea, and when we sailed on the Island, I thought it was among the worst. However the Royal's pizza is on point! I'm not even a fan of thin crust, but it's amazing!

Now I did some stalking of the Allure because the ships seem so much closer when you're on upper decks. Almost as if you could carry on a conversation between someone on the other ship.

12.26.13

I did some major balcony creeping. If you're ever on your balcony in port and facing another ship, be warned that you are subject to photograph.

12.26.13

Check out that balcony with a hot tub! You can also almost see the full-size Christmas tree inside.

12.26.13

Hello, neighbors!

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

These balconies connect much better than Princess's in my opinion. Rather than the partition folding back parallel to the room and blocking the view from one stateroom, it folds all the way around and attaches onto the partition. Pictured above are three connected balconies.

12.26.13

12.26.13

The people above were fun to watch. They are arranged differently here, but later, a teenage boy arrives and is beside his grandmother and she casually hands her beer over to him every few minutes and he stealthily takes a sip. I don't think his mother ever caught on. And I'm not really sure if he liked it.

12.26.13

Don't know where to put your suitcase? Try the balcony!

12.26.13

12.26.13

It's as if our ship just grew!

Here's a riddle for you.... what two things on cruise ships are always full, but yet more people always manage to get in?

12.26.13

Guess hot tubs and elevators? You got it!

Interesting fact.... the maximum capacity for the hot tub is listed at 5 persons.

12.26.13

12.26.13

I was having a really fun time with the balcony shots, as I'm sure you can tell. The concept of not knowing who is above or beneath you is really interesting to me. I liked the juxtaposition of the shot above. Did the lavish balcony party realize that there was a man in nothing but his underwear above? And beside the boxers man is a couple just enjoying the view. How funny that these three different groups were caught in one image.

12.26.13

Good-bye, Allure!

12.26.13

Something tells me that the maximum capacity of this hot tub is larger than five people.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

We had a really fun sail away with the Allure of the Seas. The Allure blew its horn, and we sounded back with the Love Boat tune (love it!) which the Allure passengers really seemed to enjoy and react to. We got lots of cheers and waves good-bye.

12.26.13

It took forever for this ship to pull out far enough for me to get all of it in the frame!

12.26.13

12.26.13

See you in Port Everglades, Allure of the Seas!

12.26.13

This was my parent's room. I love the complimentary celebration decorations on Princess. This would cost like $25 on Royal Caribbean!

12.26.13

We went to the wine and cheese party on the top deck, but there was only one table of people there and the cheese didn't look too fresh, so we decided to head to the Bellini bar in the atrium.

12.26.13

Check out her new bling -

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

I recommend the Raspberry Romance.

12.26.13

There was a flash mob in the atrium which was fun. They took a lot of time planting their dancers. One couple was sitting at a table for at least 15 minutes and chatting with another couple there. They also had dancers dressed as bartenders and serving people. The thing that gave it away was an young lady dressed as an elderly woman who took forever to get down the spiral staircase with a cane. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known what was coming.

12.26.13

12.26.13

It was the Chef's dinner in the dining room.

12.26.13

12.26.13

I actually wasn't a fan of the scallops, and I like scallops. They were pretty rubbery and tasteless.

12.26.13

I got the ice cream.

12.26.13

Dad got the Love Boat Dream.

The Latin Party was that night.

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

12.26.13

NEXT: Day 6 - At Sea